Cruiser Tested - Rev'It! Inferno VCS Gloves review

(November 2007)

A lot of gloves find their way into my palatial, Cruiser-issued 8'x9' cubicle. Most of them end up in a drawer, worn once or twice and never to be seen again. Poor construction, flimsy material, not vented enough (or vented too much) or just a bad design - any of these will consign a pair of gloves to the Drawer of Shame. So it's always a great joy to find some gloves that stay in the rotation. And the Rev'It! Inferno VCS gloves make the cut.

The Inferno VCS gloves, $120, follow Rev'IT!'s "engineered skin" principles, using an ergonomic shape for fit, as well as materials that provide for the right balance of protection and comfort. In this case, the list of materials used is staggering considering that these are "only" gloves: outer shell -- French cowhide, cow nappa, Clarino(r), Schoeller(r)- Keprotec, Pampas leather, Pittard(r) digital goatskin; lining -- non padded tri-fleece; protection -- Schoeller(r)-Keprotec covered carbon hard shell knuckles, PU (polyurethane) impact finger labels (medium-hard rubber bits on the back of most knuckles), Schoeller(r)-Keprotec reinforced little finger, Pampas leather reinforced palm. The final product shows how well the materials have been blended for a glove that provides almost race-level protection with great touring and street looks.

As if that weren't enough, there are accordion flex panels on the back of the wrist and fingers, elastic at the wrist plus a protected Velcro strap, a second Velcro strap on the gauntlet, Pittard grip panels on the thumb, index and middle finger and a reflective panel on the outer edge of the glove. At this time, there is no optional knife blade or pliers attachment.

All of this is fine, but the proof is in the wearing and the Inferno VCS gloves are at the top of the class. The pre-curved fit means that one's hands easily grasp the handlebars without material bunching up at the base of the fingers. With the elastic and straps, the fit is very secure and grip is excellent. I declined to crash-test the gloves, but in the months that I have been wearing them, there are no seams coming apart and the gloves only look broken-in as opposed to worn-out. Given the materials used, they should provide excellent protection in the event of an accident. The gloves worked best at temperatures from the low 60s to the upper 70's, a pretty good range of conditions.

As for nits, they are quite small. First, the gloves are very tight at the wrist, making them tough to get on and harder to get off. Once they are on, though, the fit is excellent. Second, though these gloves are unvented, there are a few perforations on the palm-side of the fingers which really are unnecessary. As stated, quite small nits and nothing that detracts from the gloves.

Final verdict: the Rev'IT! Inferno VCS gloves are a top-notch glove, ideal for fall and spring riding.

- Evan Kay